Se admiten sugerencias y nuevas aportaciones


Estado de los Recursos Hídricos

Texto Actualizado a 10 de Marzo 2001

5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997

The government body at the national level responsible for coordinating water resource management and development is the Water Resources Secretariat in the Ministry of Environment, Water Resources and the Legal Amazon (MMA). Its mandate includes: the implementation of the National Water Resources Policy; the promotion of joint management in the sustainable use of water resources; serving as Executive Secretariat of the National Water Resources Council; and planning, coordinating, supervising and controlling actions related to water resources; formulating, implementing and assessing the national policy on hydroagricultural use and its instruments; and the coordination of the Water Resources Information System.

Sanitation policy (which includes water supply and treatment, sewage collection and treatment, collection and final disposal of solid wastes and urban drainage) is under the responsibility of the Urban Policy Secretariat of the Ministry of Planning and Budget - SEPURB/MPO.

There are also governmental bodies for coordination of water resource management, development and policy in all 26 States and in the Federal District, which manage water under state jurisdiction. At the local level: the so-called Municipal Consortia define actions, coordinate and promote efforts with a view to improving the conditions of the basin, particularly concerning the quality, quantity and availability of the waters.. At the river basin level, 43 Basin Committees have been established to date, 39 of these at state level and 4 in basins of rivers under Federal jurisdiction. Around 50% are found in the South East.

These Committees make decisions on conflicts of use of water resources, approve the Steering Plans for Water Resources of the River Basins and follow-up their implementation. The general legislation and regulatory framework for water management includes the following:

National Water Resources Policy, 1997.
Provisional Measure No. 813/95, and its successive reissues, dealing with the organization of the Presidency of the Republic and the Ministries.
Ministry of Health Directive No. 36, dated 19/01/90, on potability of water
Federal Constitution, 1988.
CONAMA (National Environment Council) Resolution No. 20, 1986, which deals with the classification of water bodies
National Environment Policy, 1981.
Water Code (Código de Aguas), 1934.
The legislation which covers the use of water by agriculture includes:
The National Irrigation Policy Law No. 6662, dated 25/6/79.
Regulatory Framework for the National Irrigation Policy - Decree No. 89,496, dated 29/3/84 and Decree No. 2,178, dated 17/03/97.

That for the use of water by industry:

CONAMA Resolution No. 237, dated 19/12/97, regulates environmental licensing of activities that use natural resources (including construction, installation, modification and operation).
CONAMA Resolution No. 001/86 deals with the implementation of environmental impact assessment.
Law No. 4904, from 1965, establishes National Department of Water and Electricity (DNAEE).
Presidential Decree No. 2335, from 1997, establishes the National Electric Energy Agency.

For use by households: The Federal Constitution defines, under its Article 21, that it is the responsibility of the Federal Government to "establish guidelines for urban development, including housing, basic sanitation and urban transportation" and, under its Article 23, that it is the responsibility of Federal, State and Local Governments to "protect the environment and combat pollution in all its forms" and to "promote programs to build housing and improve housing conditions and basic sanitation".

At the federal legislative level, a bill that deals with guidelines for granting authority and for defining the inter-relationship among Federal, State and Local Governments with respect to public sanitation services is being discussed.

Within the Federal Government, the Ministry of Environment recently formulated the National Desertification Plan whose objective is to propose actions to prevent degradation, to combat and control desertification as well as the effects of drought in the affected States. The country has for decades adopted policies to create jobs and water reserves in affected regions,especially in Northeast region and S o Francisco River basin.

The Water Law January 8, 1977) establishes the principle of decentralized and participatory management, with the discussion on the best management practices with local users. The law provides for the participation of users in the National Water Resources Council and in the Basin Committees. In the latter, participation of users accounts for fifty percent.

The National Irrigation and Drainage Policy provides for public projects for farming families with areas of 4-10 ha, occupying up to fifty percent of the total project area. There are programs for capacity-building and technology transfer for these new farming families.

With respect to the Sanitation Sector, social organizations had an active participation in the process of drafting the National Sanitation Policy. Moreover, the prioritization and selection of projects for financing under the Pro-Saneamento Program is carried out in a decentralized manner by Councils existing in the 27 States and made up of representatives of State and Local Governments and organized civil society from housing and sanitation sectors

With regard to pricing policies, Law No. 9,433/97, in its Article 5, paragraph IV and in Articles 19 and 22, provides for charging for water use as one of the instruments of the National Water Resources Policy. A law with pricing provisions has been adopted in 14 States and in the Federal District. At the Federal level, it is undergoing the review process. The structure of the tariffs for water and sewage services, both household and industrial, as well as for public irrigation, is made up in such a way as to cover the full costs of exploitation, maintenance, operation, depreciation and remuneration. However, due to management inefficiency and economic and financial difficulties, some services incur deficits. The sanitation and irrigation policies currently being implemented will enable the systems to become feasible. Wherever this is impossible, because of the low income of local population, fiscal subsidies are allowed by Federal, State and Local governments.

For agricultural use the National Irrigation and Drainage Program, currently under execution, uses the strategy of applying cost recovery for all users, including the public sector, promoting the increase of the efficiency of water conveyance, distribution and application in irrigated cultures. Irrigation projects are expected to expand the irrigated area by about 25%, with the same amount of water being currently used. Public irrigation projects (around 6% of the total area, that is, 150,000 ha) completely recover investment costs according to Law No. 6662. The private sector, responsible for circa 94% of the irrigated area in the country (2,600,000 ha) will have to pay for the use of water, as established by Law No. 9433, dated 08/01/97, which is being regulated.

The present irrigation policy stimulates the efficient use of water; reduction of losses; and activities that avoid the degradation of water resources. It also presents guidelines for the use of drainage systems to prevent salinization and saturation of soils. Entities that implement public irrigation projects buy large areas and through studies, transform these areas into systems that meet the needs of small and medium sized companies; and into smaller areas that meet the needs of farmers' families. The private sector continues to extend its participation in irrigated areas, stimulated by governmental projects and programs that promote systems of electrical support, hydraulic infrastructure, institutional capacity building and strengthening in regions with irrigation potential.

With respect to production of hydroelectric energy, the ongoing privatization program is transforming a sector mainly made up of public companies into a sector where the participation of private companies will be predominant. At this time, the hydroelectric sector is required to pay for the use of impounded water for hydropower generation. Other industrial user sectors already pay for water with tariffs that cover the costs of investment and exploitation of water supply systems, but they frequently do not cover the costs of sanitary sewerage systems.

In the Sanitation and Water Supply Sector, the responsibility for defining service tariffs is exclusively that of the States in the case of common interest services, and of Counties, in all other situations.The tariff is made up of the following costs: exploitation, operation, maintenance, depreciation and remuneration. Thus, when the provisions of Law No. 9433, dated 08/01/97, are established, an amount corresponding to the costs of capture and consumption of gross water and disposal of effluents will be included. The participation of the private sector in providing sanitation services is still very limited in Brazil. However, one of the main strategies of the National Sanitation Policy, which intends to make water and sewerage services universal, is intervention to improve the level of efficiency of service providers and coordination of public and private efforts in order to promote the reorganization and modernization of the sector.

From the point of view of the National Sanitation Policy, the basic objective is to make water supply and sewerage available to everyone, be it by expanding the supply, or be it by management of the demand, thus promoting conditions for the economic development of the country. Its intervention strategy encourages and conditions the efficiency of the sector, as part of the economy. The States and Counties are encouraged to establish specific goals to meet the needs of the poor, particularly in the cases of participation by the private sector, even seeking to define a principle of essential consumption. The National Sanitation Policy proposes the allotment of resources to subsidize the implementation of systems in the poorer Counties, as a means of providing services.

In order to prevent pollution of freshwater supplies, several programmes have been implemented by the States. Under direct implementation of the Federal Government, the following may be highlighted:

The PQA (Projeto Qualidade das aguas e Controle da Poluiço Hidrica) - Project for Water Quality and Control of Water Pollution aims to provide technical and financial support to the preparation of investment programs for the environmental sanitation of hydrographic water basins that have an elevated level of pollution, specially in areas of high urban density and intense productive dynamics. It is an innovative initiative, marked by simultaneous efforts, seeking solutions that consider: i) physical interventions, designed with a multidisciplinary and systemic perspective, capable of promoting the recovery and protection of environmental quality, and as a consequence, improving the living conditions of the populations that live in metropolitan regions or important urban agglomerations, according to equations of least cost and greatest environmental benefit; and ii) institutional arrangements, capable of providing sustained management of hydrographic water basins, including the development of economic environmental and natural resources management instruments.

PROGEST (Programa de Apoio y Gest o dos Sistemas de Coleta e Disposicao de Resíduos Sólidos) Program to Support the Management of Systems for Collecting and Disposing of Solid Wastes. This program aims to support the establishment of a nationwide policy for the urban solid wastes sector, geared towards the solution of collection and final disposal problems. Its actions benefit, among others, those counties situated in the areas of source protection, thus contributing to prevention of environmental pollution and, therefore, indirectly, aiding in the conservation of water bodies and in the increase of quality and quantity of water supply.

PRO-SANEAMENTO (Pro-Sanitation)- the objective of this program is to increase coverage of the following services: water supply, sanitary sewerage, urban drainage and urban solid wastes, as well as improving service efficiency. Within this program, the Sanitary Sewerage section is intended to increase the appropriate coverage and/or treatment and final disposal of effluents. The Solid Wastes section is intended to finance projects to increase the coverage of appropriate treatment and final disposal of urban solid wastes. Furthermore, within this program, there is an added incentive in the Sanitary Sewerage section, where the rate of interest is lower than that in other sections of the program.

PROGRAMA DE POTABILIDADE DA ÁGUA - Water Drinkability Program. The Ministry of Health has as one of its responsibilities the application of Directive No. 36, that aims to assess and monitor the drinkability of water of the public water supply systems in the country.
There are also several programmes implemented by the States. Under direct implementation by the Federal Government, five programs may be highlighted:

The PROGRAMA DE CONSERVAÇÄ O E REVITALIZAÇÄ O DOS RECURSOS H DRICOS (Program for the Conservation and Revitalization of Water Resources) aims to contribute to the control of pollution of water resources and, consequently, improve the availability of water, in terms of quantity and quality, in several basins in Brazil. It is being implemented by the Water Resources Secretariat/MMA. The main objective of this program is to provide revitalization and conservation of water resources as a whole. This is to be done within the perspective of the hydrological cycle, through the management of the physical and biotic environments, having the hydrographic basin, primarily for capture, as a unit for planning and work.

The PMSS - Projeto de Modernizaçã o do Setor Saneamento (Project to Modernize the Sanitation Sector)- is an instrument of the National Sanitation Policy aimed at reordering, improved efficiency and efficacy of sanitation services, by adopting a strategy that consists mainly in inducing the efficiency of public operators, and establishing and inducing the participation of private operators and businesses. These reordering actions would be basically represented by the technical assistance of the Federal Government, aiming at the creation of regulatory frameworks, management models and the improvement of the efficiency in provision of services. The regulatory frameworks will establish quality standards for water supply as well as for the quality of effluents discharged in the receiving bodies. The investment component acts through direct actions for rehabilitation, optimization and expansion of collection and treatment of sanitary sewage.

The PASS - Programa de Açã o Social em Saneamento (Social Action Program for Sanitation) is directed towards the implementation of projects in water supply and sanitary sewerage; collection and disposal of solid wastes in the poorest areas in large cities and small and medium sized counties, in order to improve the population's health and living conditions. Through actions in sanitary sewerage and collection and disposal of solid wastes, the program acts directly in the control of water pollution and, indirectly, in the conservation of water bodies.

The PROSEGE - Programa de Açã o Social em Saneamento (Social Action Program for Sanitation) was conceived and structured to generate double benefits to the most vulnerable segments of the population of large and medium sized urban centers of the country. At the same time that it enabled temporary solutions for critical unemployment problems, especially in construction, executing projects to implement/expand the sanitary sewerage system, it increased the coverage of sanitation services, ensuing favorable effects on the health and living conditions of the targeted population. The program was developed in order to provide improved living conditions for lower income populations, by investment in basic sanitation, preferably in projects with assured environmental, technical, financial and socioeconomic feasibility.

The PROSANEAR Program provides for integrated actions in sanitation, involving, among others, implementation and improvement of following services: water supply, sanitary sewerage, separation of solid wastes and microdrainage in degraded urban areas occupied by lower income populations, in cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants. Pollution prevention, and consequent conservation and increase in water supply in the sources of the region, is one of the effects of the program, as an appropriate disposal is made for both sewage and solid wastes.

The regional strategic plan for Latin America and the Caribbean to improve drinking water, coordinated by PAHO and WHO, through technical cooperation, aims to develop strategies for the protection, conservation, quality and drinkability of water to improve the environment and human health.

The National Water Resources Policy has among its main objectives, assuring current and future generations the required availability of water, with quality standards appropriate to its respective uses. Thus, many of the actions undertaken by the Water Resources Secretariat and other government agencies are directed to increasing gross water supply in the water bodies in appropriate quantities and quality. Among the principal measures adopted by the Federal Government are the following:

The PRO GUA - Programa de Desenvolvimento de Recursos H¡dricos para o Semi- rido Brasileiro ( Program to Develop Water Resources for the Brazilian Semi-Arid Region) - has among its goals, the implementation of new projects that, besides ensuring increased water availability, promote both improvement of the quality of life of the local population and the protection of the environment.

The Projeto gua Boa (Good Water Project) seeks to increase the availability of drinking water, especially for the communities of the Brazilian Semi-Arid Region. It intends to desalinate brackish waters from deep wells using the inverse osmosis process.

The Programa Nacional de Combate ao Desperd¡cio de gua (National Program to Combat Water Waste), has as its main objective to promote the wise use of water for public supply, to benefit public health, environmental sanitation, and efficiency of services. The program's strategy consists in identifying and implementing measures that revert the identified wasteful situation, based on actions and technological, regulatory, economic and institutional instruments, aiming at an effective saving of water.

The major constraints faced by the Government in reaching its objectives in the area of integrated management of water resources include: - the short period of existence of the sector itself, institutionalized by Law No. 9433/97; - insufficient financial resources; - fragile existing institutional framework; - lack of specialization and capacity building of human resources; - deficiencies in controlling the use of natural resources.

In the case of sanitation, the greatest challenges faced are the restrictions of public debt, reducing the capacity of investment of the Public Sector; and the non-existence of regional regulatory frameworks that stimulate the efficiency and participation of the private sector. Other factors are the size and qualification of the deficit, the payment capacity of the Public Sector, the improvement required in the production of projects and managerial capacity.

One of the general guidelines of the National Water Resources Policy is the integration of water resources management with environmental management, which is reflected in the Plans and Programs that the Water Resources Secretariat is developing.

The National Water Resources Policy foresees not only the drafting of steering plans for water resources, by State and by River Basins, many of which have already been or are being developed, but also the formulation of a National Water Resources Plan. This National Plan, which will formulate the guidelines for integrating water management with management of land use and occupation, is undergoing development at the Water Resources Secretariat.

Also under preparation are the terms of reference for several irrigation development subprograms (for the cerrados, plains, green belts, semi-arid) which will be carried out in areas that do not engender environmental risks.

The Project Water Quality and Control of Water Pollution - PQA, is an important interface between the recovery and protection of the quality of the supply sources and the occupation and use of the land, through actions geared towards urban infrastructure, notably in shantytowns, resettling of populations in risk areas, recomposition of vegetable cover, establishment of parks and environmental protection areas, among others.

Brazil, policies for flood prevention and flood warning, as well as to combat droughts, are today mainly implemented by States and Counties.

The Ministry of Mines and Energy, through the National Electric Energy Agency (ANEEL), operates a hydrometric network (about 4000 stations) mainly to regulate hydropower generation and also provide data for new undertakings. Data from this network is also used by the civil defense for disaster preparedness (floods and droughts).

Conflicts of jurisdiction or other matters are resolved through Federal Law No. 9433 (January 8, 1997), which established the Civil Water Resources Organizations (Art. 47 and 48), the River Basin Committees (Art. 37 to 40), the Water Agencies (Art. 41 to 44), the National Water Resources Council and the Executive Secretariat of the National Water Resources Council (Art. 45 and 46).

Information collection at the national level is carried out by the following:

Water Resources Secretariat (SRH) - collects general data on water resources;
National Meteorology Institute (INMET) - collects meteorological data;
National Space Research Institute (INPE) - collects meteorological data;
National Electric Energy Agency (ANEEL) - collects data on water availability.
At the state level:
State Water Resources Secretariats or public water resources entities collect general data on water resources;
State Environmental Secretariats and public environmental entities collect water quality data.
In the agricultural sector:
The Ministry of Environment, Water Resources and the Legal Amazon (MMA) and the Brazilian Geography and Statistics Institute (IBGE) collect data on land use (area, arable land, permanent crops, pastures, forest) and food production.
The MMA also collects data on irrigation areas (methods, water consumption).
At the level of the household sector:
In 1995, SEPURB published a volume entitled National Information System on Sanitation SNIS. It is published annually with operational, economic, financial data as well as data on the main service providers of the country.
For the industrial sector:
IBGE collects data from the commercial and industrial sectors. There are also several private entities that collect data on this sector.
ANEEL collects water gauge height data.

Some of the information is available on the INTERNET. Most of the publications of public bodies are freely available, being provided upon request and regularly sent to sector agents. Among the main organizations publishing data are: IBGE (Statistical Yearbook); MAA (bulletins from the Agricultural Policy Secretariat); MMA (Water Resources Secretariat reports); ANEEL, INPE, INMET, EMBRAPA, SRH/MMA, SEPURB/MPO and MS.

Most of the information is available electronically. Generally the information is available in electronic files, in word processing and spreadsheet documents. Technology and Capacity-Building

The limits and conditions of water quality to be observed for gross water include physical, chemical and bacteriological parameters, and are contained in CONAMA Resolution No. 20/1986.

The Public Water Supply Service and the appropriate State Authority regularly carry out control and monitoring of water quality, with the objective of achieving and maintaining the Drinkability Standard defined in Ministry of Health Directive No. 36, dated January 19, 1990, which uses as reference the standards established by the World Health Organization.

The Drinkability Standard is the set of maximum permissible values of the physical-chemical characteristics of water intended for human consumption. This Ministry of Health Directive defines the physical-chemical and bacteriological parameters for monitoring water quality. The competent State Sanitary Authorities of the States may, considering local conditions, establish more restrictive parameters, as well as waiving certain specific analyses, once the non-existence of the chemical components in question has been ascertained through historic data and sanitary assessments.

Currently, the main deficit of the Sanitation and Water Supply Sector is in the area of sanitary sewerage, more specifically in treatment of sanitary sewage. The main objective of the National Sanitation Policy is to universalize water access and sanitary sewerage with at least 80% of treatment by the year 2010.

The current capacity for sewage treatment is 2,524,700 m /day, representing approximately 15% of the sewage produced daily in the country, taking into account the 27 State Basic Sanitation Companies and the 27 County Water and Sewerage Services for populations greater than 100,000 that are part of the SNIS/95 (15 County Water and Sewerage Services and 1300 County Water and Sewerage Services for populations smaller than 100,000 are not part of the SNIS/95).

There are no data on recycling of waste water in Brazil.

In Brazil, according to the National Research of Domestic Sampling - PNAD/96, 48.9% of the sewage produced is collected in public systems, 32% of which is treated, that is, 15.6% of the sewage produced in Brazil is treated.

The principal goal of the National Sanitation Policy - PNS is to make water supply universal, that is 100% of coverage by the year 2010. Sanitation Coverage (as a percent): For the year 2010, the goal of the PNS is to make collection services available to all, with treatment of at least 80% of the sanitary sewage collected in public systems.

The technological needs to achieve those goals include:

a) Recycling and reuse of waste waters

b) Sewage treatment

The development of technologies for recycling and reuse of waste waters, both household and industrial, is essential to reduce the contamination, specially industrial, and waste, thus preserving water resources.

In the Sanitation Sector there will always be a need for new technologies for treating water and sewage, since costs can be reduced and efficiency can be increased. Thus the resources available for investment may be used for both increasing coverage and for improving the quality of services.

All water supplied to the population by service providers must conform to the minimum drinkability requirements established in the Ministry of Health Directive No. 36, dated January 19, 1990. However, the main objective of providing universal access is water quality. Based on the information provided by the SNIS (Diagnosis of Water and Sewage Services, 1995), 92.8% of the volume of water produced and distributed to the population is treated. Financing

It is estimated that the investment necessary to eliminate the current deficit in water supply and sanitary sewage services is around R$ 21.4 billion. If growth of the population by the year 2010 is considered, the required funds will be around R$ 36 billion. (US$ 1 = R$ 1.17)

The current flow of external resources into water resource management and development includes:

Technical cooperation:

- Foreign funds  US$ 40.5 million (1995-1997)
- Brazilian counterpart funds  US$ 43.6 million
- Total for Water Resources  US$ 84.1 million


- For projects under execution  US$ 12.3 million


- Projects under execution  Resources
- Total Cost of Projects  US$ 8,362.4 billion
- Brazilian Counterpart  US$ 3,656.4 billion
- Total from External Sources  US$ 4,695.0 billion
- Multilateral Funds  US$ 3,616.9 billion
- Bilateral Funds  US$ 1,078.1 billion
- Private flows: data not available

Within the Sanitation area, according to the Activities Report of the National Sanitation Policy, the programs carried out by the Federal Government from 1995 to 1997 were executed with 91.6% of its funds from the Federal Government Budget, the Severance Pay Fund (FGTS) and counterpart funds from States and Counties, and only 8.4% from external sources. Regional and International cooperation

Brazil currently takes part in the following bilateral and regional agreements for the use of international watercourses, lakes or groundwater:

At the Bilateral Level:

- Cooperation Agreement between Brazil and Uruguay for the Use of Natural Resources and Development of the Quara¡ River Basin
- Fishing Agreement between Brazil and Argentina
- Agreement on Fishing and Preservation of Renewable Natural Resources between Brazil and Uruguay
- Agreement between the Government of Brazil and the Government of Paraguay for the Conservation of Water Fowl in Bordering Rivers
- Agreement of Amazon Cooperation between the Government of Brazil and the Government of Colombia
- Treaty for the Use of Shared Water Resources of the Bordering Areas of the Uruguay River and its Tributary, the Pepiri-Guaçu, between Brazil and Argentina

At the Regional Level:

- Treaty of the Rio de la Plata This is an agreement among Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay for flood warning. Information is exchanged daily and most of it is are available on the Internet.
- Amazon Cooperation Treaty among Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Surinam and Venezuela.

Mas información - (enlaces) - (Brasil)

Saneamiento ambiental y rehabilitación urbana de la cuenca de Guarapiranga (Brasil).

| Indice | Presentación | Contenidos Didácticos | Investigación |
Noticias | SitemapMasterRedes de ControlEnlaces |
Ponencias en esta web | Bases de Datos | Foro | Punto de Encuentro |

| Inicio Página | Volver a Tierra |

Ultima actualización: 9 de Junio de 2003.©
Paginas elaboradas por J. Martínez-Frías y  F. López Lunar
Pagina actualizada y corregida por
^_^ © A. Pelayo Martínez